Some of the most frequently asked questions here on smartphonematters.com are about Straight Talk Wireless and Mobile Hotspot or Personal Hotspot. In this article I’ll explain to you what you need to know about Straight Talk and Hotspot.
I Don’t Know How To Fix Your Straight Talk Hotspot
Before going any further I want to make it clear this article isn’t about how to make hotspot work for you with Straight Talk. If your hotspot isn’t working, I don’t know how to fix it for you. Sorry. There may be some apps, tips, or tricks you can use to make hotspot work, lot’s of people claim they do this but I don’t have any information about that.
With that out of the way, here is what I think you need to know about Straight Talk and Mobile Hotspot.
Straight Talk’s Current Support For Hotspot
In the fall of 2019. Straight Talk finally added 10GB of mobile hotspot data to their $55 Unlimited Plan. Customers using Straight Talk’s Verizon, T-Mobile, or Sprint towers qualify for mobile hotspot. Customers using Straight Talk’s AT&T towers are not authorized to use hotspot. Hotspot is not included with Straight Talk’s $35 and $45 plan.
In 2020, you have a lot of choices for prepaid wireless service. You may be able to save $100s per year and get the features you want such as Wi-Fi calling, Mobile Hotspot, and Visual Voicemail. Sound good? to learn more see, Is Straight Talk Your Best Option in 2020?
Plain and simple. If you need hotspot and your Straight Talk plan does not include it or your on the $55 plan you are not able to get hotspot working, switch to a prepaid wireless carrier that includes hotspot.
I’ve tried many prepaid wireless carriers, almost every one includes hotspot and it simply works without issue. My view that as consumers we should reward the companies that offer the features we want with our business.
I don’t know why Straight Talk doesn’t offer hotspot on the $35 and $45 plans, and only 10GB for the $55 pla. Maybe it isn’t profitable for them to do so. Maybe their business agreements with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint prevent them from doing so. Who really cares? Most of their competitors include hotspot with their fixed data plans and a fixed amount of hotspot data with their unlimited plans.
Verizon Wireless Prepaid, Mint Mobile, Visible, AT&T Prepaid, and other all have better options for mobile hotspot. Be advised that most prepaid wireless carriers only offer fixed amounts of hotspot data. Few offer unlimited hotspot data and when they do, there are other restirctions on download speeds or the number of devices that can be connected at a single time.
Straight Talk’s Previous Support For Hotspot
Before the fall of 2019, Straight Talk did not include mobile hotspot with any of their plans. In fact, according to Straight Talk using hotspot violated their terms and conditions of service and was cause for them to terminate your service.
Here is the thing though. When I tell people this they get really mad at me. Turns out, that even though Straight Talk didn’t include hotspot with their plans, a number of people found out they would just turn it on and it worked! And many people used hotspot with Straight Talk for years. People with the unlimited plan used Straight Talk and hotspot to provide internet service for their entire home. People used it to download 100s of GB of data for video games and media with no issue. Some people were lucky, others not so much. Straight Talk terminated customers’ service for using hotspot. Many of these people didn’t even know that using hotspot was against the terms of service. It worked, so it never occurred to them that it wasn’t included. Can you imagine that?
The irony is that when Straight Talk finally added 10GB of mobile hotspot to the $55 plan many existing customers got angry. Why? Because some customers felt like they had unlimited hotspot and suddenly it stopped working properly. These customers would turn on hotspot and quickly use up their 10GB of hotpsot and it would stop working or become so slow it was unusable!
The Choice Is Up To You
Over the years I’ve received a number of angry and negative comments on my articles and videos about Straight Talk and Hotspot. A number of people were looking for and expected to find out how to fix or circumvent hotspot restrictions here.
Just to be clear, it make absolutely no difference to me if you decide to circumvent hotspot restrictions on any prepaid wireless carrier. That is your choice. But when I set up smartphonematters.com I decided that there would be some topics I’d cover here and others I wouldn’t.
For me, I rely on my home internet connection far too much to use mobile hotspot. Even if it was included with my plan. I would never rely on a solution that was based on circumventing hotspot. I simply couldn’t afford to have my internet service potentially stop workling! Your situation may be different.
Common Reactions and Feedback
Below are some of the most common reactions and feed back I have received.
My Phone has a hotspot option
One common response I get is why does my phone have a hotspot option in the settings or why does my phone’s manufacturer list hotspot as a feature if Ican’t use it? Many phones have features that require the wireless carrier support. Sometimes the carrier can configure your phone to hide these options, other times not. Perhaps it is confusing for some people, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.
No Support for Hotspot Is Ilegal!
I also receive a fair number of comments telling me that it “illegal” for Straight Talk to prevent you from using hotspot. I am not aware of any such law. Most comments never provide any details or references to said laws or rulings. Based on my research I believe they may be referring to a consent decree between Verizon and the FCC. You can read more about that here FCC to Verizon: Don’t block tethering apps. Verizon settles for $1.25M. It’s not clear how this would apply to Straight Talk or any other wireless carrier.
While I am not aware of it, it is entirely possible that Straight Talk’s terms and conditions of service do violate FCC regulations or even consumer protection laws. Even if this is true, what recourse does the average consumer have? I suppose you could start a class-action law suit, and if successful, Straight Talk customers would have access to hotspot and may receive a few dollars each in compensation. The law firm handling the case would take 30% to 50% of the settlement off the top, then the bills and expenses are paid, and whatever remains is divided among the plaintiffs. That is my limited understanding of class action law suits. To me, it isn’t worth my time or effort, but you may feel differently.
If you have any additional questions or have some information to share, leave a reply below. Also feel free to check out the comments left by other readers and Straight Talk customers.
You Are Still Reading This?
If you made it this far, I’m impressed. I hope that if hotspot is important to you, you choose a prepaid service that includes it. Let Straight Talk know why you left. I know many of you are rightfully annoyed that it wasn’t clear to you that hotspot was not part of your plan. You probabally signed up for prepaid wireless to save a few dollars compared to post-paid service. Rather than spending time being angry, focus your energy on finding the carrier that is right for you and get back to the rest of your life. At least that is my take on all this.
I’ve had straight talk going on there years. I can use Hotspot on all plans and only on Verizon and att towers. I tried t-mobile and it will not work. I currently have Sony experia xa1. I’ve never had an issue using jotspot but today they sent a warning text saying if I continue to use it my data will be suspended. I’ve only used 35 gb which is more than I usually use because I currently have no other internet and have been watching TV using it. I tried my Hotspot after the message and it still currently works. I guess I just have to cut down on the videos.
Yea. its not clear what actually triggers a warning or suspension.
So last I bought this ST phone in the Phoenix area for 40. ZTE phone. I bought it with the 55 DLL plan. I noticed it had a hotspot feature. I have a ps4 so I downloaded digital games. It does eat a lot of GB when I download games. Online gaming, streaming Netflix, YouTube, etc not such. I have gone up to 250 GB before it gets shut off. Been doing this for months. But I was off ST in the last 4 months. Dropped my phone a few times during that time period. I can still use the hotspot feature, but the speeds are less than 1 Mbps even though my internet is not currently throttled. I mean it still says 4g LTE at the very top. Any idea?
No sorry, I don’t have any idea on how to fix it. Just because you have a 4G LTE connection though, that doesn’t mean you are not reducing your speeds.
At the end you say “see my article…”
So what article is this?
Oh.. yea. the link to the article was was missing. i added it. Thanks. It was an article about prepaid services that support hotspot. Prepaid Wireless and Portable or Personal Hotspot
I recently bought a samsung J3 Orbit that offers hotspot, I at first bought the $55 card and it worked great, connected perfectly, but I never use that much data so I decided to switch to the $45 card and now it doesn’t connect to the internet at all. Very disappointing.
None of Straight Talk’s plan offically support hotspot. For some reason it works with some of their android phones on their Verizon towers.
You could try going back to the $55 plan. That would be like paying a $10 premium for hotspot if it worked. If you need to be on the Verizon towers, Verizon prepaid plans (except unlimited) support hotspot. Simple Mobile (t-mobile towers) also support hotspot. Using you new J3 orbit with another carrier may not be an option. I am curious. You say you don’t use too much data, what did you use hotspot for?
I used hotspot and tethering on my Straight Talk LG Rebel 3 (Verizon towers) for almost a year with no problems. Then around the end of March it stopped working. I could still access the Internet on the phone, but not through hotspot/tethering from any of my computers. The computer would connect to the phone just fine, but no Internet access. I was using the $45 card with 10GB of data and rarely used that much. No streaming movies, tv or anything like that, just basic web surfing. But they disabled it somehow. I suspect Straight Talk has begun cracking down on hotspot use since they recently increased their data limits. So I am switching to Verizon prepaid because they do allow hotspot.
Frank, thanks for sharing your experience. As I have said often, I encourage all customers that want the hotspot feature switch to a prepaid wireless service that officially supports it. Will you be able to take that Rebel 3 to Verizon?
Galaxy S7 Edge, Straight Talk $45/month/25G. Last week my mobile hot spot worked. I had software update on Thursday 4/18/2019, now hotspot doesn’t work.
I found ST has one activation service “mobile hot spots”. Would that be the service ST do provide now ?
Straight Talk has a hotspot service for portable hotspot devices. They have a different monthly plan rates. It’s not for hotspot on your phone.
So, up until 4 days ago, my hot spot worked just fine. Internet speeds on my surface were slightly lower than my Galaxy 8. Then, it stopped. If I’m not tethered speeds run in the 20 mbs range down and around 9 mbs up…
Tethered, my phone will record 12 down, and 4 up. the surface will test at .5 down and 1.2 up. I wonder if they figured out how to tell, and limit the speed through the tether…
In my opinion, I’m not too concerned about the “Terms of Service.” Straight talk would be cutting of their nose to spite there face if they canceled service. Hell, if they suspend mine once, I’ll move quickly down the road to another pre paid… it’d take about 15 minutes..
In my experience, hotspot only worked on android phone using their Verizon towers. So immediately that eliminates a large number of their customers from ever using it. In 2019, it seems they are most concerned with customers on the unlimited plan using 60+ GB of data and do take steps to suspend or terminate those customers. While many other prepaid services offer hotspot, it usually includes only a fixed amount of data. We don’t know how their business arrangements with Verizon and the other carriers are structured, I suspect they are more than happy to “fire” the customers using 100’s of GB.
I generally tell my readers to support the companies that offer the features you want with your business. However, if you can deal with the possibility of having your service suspended, go ahead and use the hotspot for all long as it works. You can always switch carriers then.
Ive been useing the $55 dollar card for 6 months and have been useing the hotspot the entire time and have had no issues however I had to get the 45 card and magically it no longer operates properly but I will update next month when I return to the 55 card and let everone know if it continues to work. Also wondering are the apn different for the $45 card and the $55
yes please let us know. The different plans use the same APN, but depending on switch towers you use, you may find that there are more than one APN that can be used. Last I used Straight Talk some of the older APN values could still be used. You my find that it was some change o ST’s systems when you changed plans that disabled it. I hope you get your hotspot back, but it possible you won’t. If you don’t require large amounts of data consider a prepaid service that includes the hotspot feature.
I bought the Samsung Crown from Walmart it has the hotspot/ tethering feature. I use it to play and stream games online, also to watch HBO Now. I had no problems the first month, renewed my service on the 10 th, on Saturday 8 was disconnected from my game the first time, then on Sunday I went to watch Game of Thrones and it pauses during streaming. I’m only at 13 Gigs of data use, I have the unlimited plan and am aware of the 60 Gig review. But never knew they didn’t support the Tethering even though they sell the phones with the feature now.
Yea. It’s why I published the articles and videos about it. As far as I know it only works with Android and ST’s Verizon towers, not the other combinations.
In your case, do you have the option to cast from your phone to your TV? I hope you managed to catch GoT, a lot happened in that first episode.
I am able to use my phone (Samasung Galaxy S9) for Hotspot as of this moment (4/2019). I am using my phone threw their Verizon towers. It works surprisingly well actually for streaming hulu or Netflix.
I was able to use hotspot with the ST Verizon towers and Android too. Seems to be the combination that works. In 2019, people using 50GB or more of data sometimes get shutdown…
I just bought a Straight Talk LG phone that uses Verizon. I can turn on Hotspot but it won’t download anything to Roku unlike my old Net 10 phone. I’ll just use the old phone for Roku. I’ll just have to pay 2 phone bills.
Consider Verizon prepaid. You can use hotspot on all their plans except the unlimited plan. $45 for 15GB with the current promotions.
I have been using foxfi for hotspot tethering until just a few days ago. Now it’s not working anymore. I currently have a note 4 using the verizon network. Straight talk of course.
If you use less than 15GB with hotspot, check out Verizon prepaid which includes hotspot as a feature.
My mom’s been using her hotspot using 100’s of gb a month.. they just suspended her hotspot feature
Just her hotspot, or all her service?
Question, what is everyone doing that gets them to over 300 GB of data usage? I use mine as a mobile hotspot with the Ulimited $55 month plan, and I never have gotten over 45 GB! And that’s with streaming videos, downloading, and near daily general usage! Are you guys using this for Xbox live?
My average monthly usage is under 30 GB !
Anyways, has anyone had luck with light hotspot use on the $45 plan?
Good question. I’ve heard a few people say they are online gaming…
I got cut at 207GB. Only reason it went that high this month is because I downloaded two Xbox games, one at 85GB and one at 45GB with all map packs at 9GB each. Didn’t know they didn’t allow hotspot. Kinda upset about it now, I used that to stream Hulu and Netflix off my Firestick but now it won’t work after that initial shut off.
That is unfortunate. May I ask did they just cut your hotspot? or did they suspend data on your phone too?
When I first got my iPhone the hotspot feature wouldn’t load under cellular. Then I restored my iPhone 6s using an iTunes backup of my iPhone X. My iPhone X had Verizon with the hotspot feature included. Now my hotspot option is able to be turn on but I’m not going to turn it on.
Interesting. Does your phone show TFW or Verizon as the carrier?
I have used straight talk since I stopped using Cingular back in the day. Long time ago. I use almost a TB of data a month if not more and I’ve had my data shut off many of times. Actually had my account shut down 2 or 3 time in the past but it’s been a while. According too my phone data usage I’m at 749GB right now. I don’t use hotspot because my phone doesn’t allow it unless I root it and I’m using lunar pro and it’s not worth rooting this phone. I do however use torrent sites and titanium TV constantly to download movies, tv shows, paid apps, music and basically whatever I want. The only way you can get by with not being caught is to only use around 5 to 10 GB a day but I’ve been using almost 30 GB a day since the beginning of this year. Only at night and not all at one time. I try not to use more than 5 to 10 GB during the day and I make sure to use atleast 30GB at night but not all in one session. Normally, I wouldn’t use this much but straight talk has pissed me off because of past experience and they know it’s illegal for them to shut off your internet service but you can look that up yourself. Unless they changed the law in the past two years, all you should need is hotspot for internet service because Congress passed a law against the termination of your internet usage. Got family that’s lawyers lol. Only reason I still have my service. It still takes around 4 to 6 hours on the phone inorder to resolve the problem. When my service plan is at 3 days until time for me to refill it, I use as much as possible but it’ll only work if you don’t use hotspot. Don’t text your data balance to see how much you’ve used if you’re planning on doing this because it’ll get you caught. Last month I used over a TB of data in just 3 days at the end of my plan. I do this because I can’t get cable where I live in the country and satellite won’t receive a signal out here no matter where you put the dish at. My wife and kids all use straight talk and we all use atleast 500GB a month. It helps to find a game like angry birds or township that you can use quite a bit of data on also. This is what works for me so best of luck too you.
Thanks for the comment. Straight Talk’s enforcement on data caps and use of mobile hotspot seems pretty inconsistent and some customers don’t hear from them. While it sounds like your current solution works for you, would you ever consider something like NetBuddy? See Net Buddy Unlimited Home & Travel Hotspot for $60 a Month. I’ve heard from a number of people with no TV / broadband options in their area.
I am however not aware of any laws or why it would be illegal for Straight Talk to enforce data limits so if you have any information on that I’d love to be able to share it with my readers. The only thing I am aware of is this https://community.verizonwireless.com/t5/My-Verizon/FCC-RULING-ON-HOTSPOT-FOR-UNLIMITED/td-p/361275
Me & my husband n other have straight talk & we use my hotspot & I called customer service because my husband data allow meant stopped working. They told me where I use my hotspot& it takes up my data it also eats his .but they never tell you that.
Thanks for sharing but I am having a hard time understanding your comment.
I have an LG g 4 and I’ve been using hotspot for months. The 55 dollar unlimited plan. I did have trouble the first month they capped me at 125 g but after that issue I’ve been careful to not go over the 60g cap
you may hear from them again. Others have.
Great article and video that answered all of my questions. I scoured the ST website looking for answers to my hotspot questions but couldn’t find them. I should have know to read the T&S! 🙂 Thanks Bob!
Unrelated, but I previously had two phones on Cricket, almost two years ago. The Sony Xperia hotspot function worked great, but the Moto G4 Plus received a similar error as did your Android phone in the video. Both on the same plan and without paying extra for the hotspot function. I realize this is a completely different network and set of phones other than what you tested, but my experience agrees with your idea of certain combination of phone and service is what results in the hotspot feature ultimately working or not.
Hey Drew glad it helped. So many people get really angry at this article because of the terms and service. If you don’t mind using the mobile network simple mobile (another tracfone brand) officially supports hotspot.
Long version: I’ve had Straight Talk for a tad over a year after being fed up with ATT. I’ve used my LG Stylo 3’s hotspot nearly every day. I am a truck driver and after a long haul, I’d jump into the sleeper and fire up Netflix or Amazon Video. I’d average 240g to 380g a month on the hotspot and never ever had a problem or service suspension. Until recently. Thanksgiving 2018, I was off for 4 days. I live in a rural area without in home WiFi, so naturally I fired up the hotspot on my phone and connected to my Xbox One for some online gaming as I did hundreds of times before. Now, this is where I think I was flagged by their system. I went to sleep and forgot to turn off the hotspot. Through the night, my Xbox decided to do some updates. Mind you these were 20g-50g updates for the each of the games I have installed. When I woke up, I couldn’t access the internet on my phone. I could call and text, but no data. I called customer service and whammo! “You have violated the TOS agreement by using your phone as a hotspot.” So I had to re-renew my plan to get data again. My inner rebel couldn’t help but use the hotspot again. It works fine without interruption. My belief is there is no real way they can monitor your usage unless it meets some limit on how much data is used in a short period of time. For instance, all those months when I was well into the 250g range, i never raised a flag because I was using it a few hours every night before sleep. But when I was home and the hotspot ran all night long downloading 100g+ in one “session”, it definitely alerted Skynet which became self aware, then it shut me down for a day.
Short version: A word to the wise, hotspot works, but use it sparing.
You story is similar to others I have heard from. They have used 100s of GB with hotspot for close to a year and then suddenly get suspended. Some report getting terminated. (told they can keep paying but will get no data). Note that using netflix or amazon video is the type of network traffic that would come from a phone. Xbox updates aren’t
See my article on NetBuddy to learn about an unlimited hotspot service that uses the ATT network.
We just got t-mobil sims to use straight talk for our own phones which we brought with us from canada. My wife’s phone (Asus) worked as a hot spot without any changes. My Samsung I had to make changes to the APN settings to get internet but am still unable to use as a hotspot. It’s disappointing as we are traveling and we were counting on this during our travels. We would have picked a different service if we had known.
If you want to use Hotspot with the the t-mobile networks, simple mobile would have been the better choice. $50 unlimited with 10GB of hotspot. both simple mobile and straight talk are owned by the same company, talk, text, data are hard to tell apart. Simple had more features. Simple Mobile Review – Thoughts and Conclusions
Someone please help. I had a unlocked s7 edge and my hotspot worked fine but that phone broke and i had to use my girlfriends atat iphone 6s. now the hotspot won’t work. My question is did the hotspot work before simply because it was a samsung phone or an unlocked phone?
Straight Talk doesn’t offer hotspot as a feature. In my experience, you can sometimes use it on android phones that use the Verizon towers. Most Verizon phones are unlocked
the mutherfkrs disable it in an attempt to sell more of their ‘mobile hotspots’ which are very expensive data wise and chew thru it very quickly. $70 for 7gig and that’s about one full day of streaming movies or a weekend of playing an online shooter like Destiny. Really useless for anything but sending/checking email if you are out of office or on the road just due to the price.
As Straight Talk doesn’t share their reasons for not supporting hotspot, I couldn’t say. If I had to guess I’d say that not supporting hotspot is part of their business arrangement of with the underlying networks they use. They may be required to pay all the data their customers use. You might be interested in NetBuddy, see Net Buddy Unlimited Home & Travel Hotspot for $60 a Month
Ok. I have been on Straight Talk on the AT&T system almost since they went live for business. I have almost always done the $45/mo plan often in the 3 month extended method.
I also ALWAYS use a BYOD device that qualifies as a “tablet”. Current device is a Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 SM-T815Y. This is an International Tablet that has native phone function.
I have also made frequent use of the HOTSPOT feature in the tablet to connect to another wifi enabled tablet that I use as a GPS device for travel so the phone calls don’t get interrupted by the GPS via Google Map/Navigation announcements.
I have on occasion use the hot spot feature with my home computers for short periods of time for either trouble shooting the computers wifi connections or when my Verizon system WIFI Hotspot has gone down during severe weather.
I have NEVER had Straight Talk limit or question my usage.
BUT.. I am not a DATA HOG. I stay within the limits of my data allowance.
Reading through these comments it looks to me like it is the DATA HOGS that are trying to scam the Straight Talk system that find themselves questioned or cutoff.
Straight Talk BYOT (Bring your own tablet) and dedicated hotspots DO support the use of mobile hotspot. The phone plans prohibit the use. I think what you are saying is basically correct. in 2018, I haven’t heard from anyone using a Straight Talk plan with a fixed amount of data that their service was terminated or suspended. Using it violates the terms of service, but they don’t seem to enforce it. It doesn’t seem to work with iPhone and only works with some android phones, anyway. However, since Straight Talk has added an unlimited plan many people have decided to use hotspot as a replacement for home broadband and this leads to using 10s to 100s of GB of data.
Some replies are from people that legitimately didn’t understand that hotspot isn’t included with their plan. The feature works on their phone and they use it only to be surprised or angry when they are cut off. Some still believe that because hotspot works, it must be allowed. Others rationalize that since they pay for service, they are entitled to use hotspot (“it’s my data!”).
I think it would be great if Straight Talk included mobile hotspot, some prepaid services do. I don’t understand why people don’t reward another company that offers hotspot with their business or contact Straight Talk and politely request they add hotspot.
Thanks for the comment. By the way, are you getting phone service on that tablet too?
I’ve used my hotspot since December of 2017 for my PlayStation and other phones and not once was my data terminated. Now today all of a sudden after almost a year it’s not showing I have net on my phone which is a cheap lg running off of att towers. I called and he says I violated terms n conditions what a crock
But you did violate the terms of service. It took them 10 months to figure it out. It would be great if they offered unlimited hotspot service for $55 per month. I’m not aware of any carrier that offers full speed unlimited hotspot wit their phone service at any price. Check out my video on net buddy, perhaps that is a service you might be interested in but you’ll still need to pay for a phone service.
Same thing happened to me. I just bought another unlimited plan a few days earlier than planned and was good to go. I just dialed things back a bit this month and try to stay under 60 gb for school work
Did you have to buy a new phone or change your number on the new plan to access the mobile Hotspot feature after they shut it off for violating contract terms and service?
You obviously read that part you have in the red box wrong. In parentheses it says ‘excluding’ hotspot not including. I read the terms and conditions on the site the other day and it specifically says that you can have up to 5 devices connected to your hotspot.
I disagree with you. first, the part bout five devices, is in section IV. STRAIGHT TALK MOBILE HOTSPOT AND STRAIGHT TALK BRING YOUR OWN TABLET. It applies only to tablet and dedicated hotspot plans, not phone service. Second,
(vi) access to the internet, intranets, or other data networks except as the device’s native applications and capabilities permit (excluding all hotspot applications),
This means you can use internet with all of your devices native applications and capablilities EXCEPT for hotspot.
third, the straighttalk.com says “*TETHERING TO ANOTHER DEVICE IS PROHIBITED. OTHER LIMITATIONS APPLY. Please refer to your terms and conditions.”
And finally, I completely disagree with you that any of this is “obvious”
I am worried that I am doing something wrong. I truly don’t know how I did this but I turned on my hotspot and gave permissions for three devices. My straight talk LG cell phone, my android tablet and my husbands android tablet. They all work and we get on every.morning for a little while to newspapers. I do not have a straight talk hotspot plan. While I was visiting with my neighbor about it he said I was doing something illegal. Am I going to get into trouble doing this?
Well, I pretty much describe all this in the article and the video. I wouldn’t say it’s illegal, it just violates the terms and conditions of service, meaning Straight Talk would suspend or terminate your service if they choose to. If you read through the comments here and on the YouTube video, some people using hotspot with the unlimited plan have been told to stop or terminated. But I’m talking about people using 50+ GB of data with hotspot. If you are using far less data, i doubt you will have a problem.
Straight Talk isn’t going to have you arrested or sue you, they just want to prevent people from overuseing their data.
What I don’t get is this if I stream movies to my laptop or Xbox wouldn’t I still be using the same data just on a bigger screen it’s hard to hear and watch a movie on a phone
Forgot to tell u I still use the same or about the same amount of data about 30 to 40 gigs a month
Well since you a T-Mobile customer, you’d be subject to T-Mobile’s terms of service regarding hotspot, not Straight Talk. And while I think it would be great if Straight Talk supported hotspot, but they explicitly do call this out in their terms of service. As consumers,we decide where we spend our money for wireless service so if we don’t like the TOS we can look else where. We really dont know why ST doesn’t support hotspot. Perhaps they need to pay verizon, att, tmobile, etc for all that bandwith. Or perhaps, their business relationship between the companies prohibits hotspot. Check out my article and video on prepaid companies that do support hotspot Prepaid Wireless and Portable or Personal Hotspot
Finally,if Hotspot on Straight Talk works with your phone and you use it, the worst that will happen is that they will contacts you and tell you to stop using it, temporarily suspend you, or terminate your service (I think the way the do that is you simply no longer have any data, even if you keep paying). Some people use hotspot without issue, others are forced to stop. I wrote this article so that people can make informed choices.
I have an unlocked samsung galaxy note 4 that has a bring your own phone sim card for at&t. My hotspot works great where I live. Funny thing is that I originally used an iPhone 4s that didn’t work with the hospot and only got 3g coverage. I bought the note 4 and put the same sim card into it that was in my iPhone 4s and immediately got 4G LTE and the hotspot worked. I will be upgrading to the unlimited plan so I don’t have to use the awful DSL where I live. I will just make sure not to hit 60 gbs in a service term. Wasn’t sure how strict straight talk would be with that part of their terms of service until I read your article. Thanks
That’s cool. just remember I am sharing what other readers have been telling me. We are assuming that they are only looking at people under the 60GB on unlimited.
Regarding your iPhone 4 it does not support LTE. AT&T played a little trick on customers, they changed the network connection indicator to say “4G” when you had a HSPA connection because technically the speeds on HSPA were fast enough to qualify as 4G speeds. on and android phone you see an H or H+ for that type of connection. However with the Straight Talk ATT network, they never made that change so the same connection would show 3G. Keep an eye out about for an article and video about a home service that uses the AT&T LTE network.
I’m on ST AT&T service, I’ve found if you use a Nexus or Pixel device……hotspot works. I’ve been using it for years.
Cool. I was not able to get it to work with my Google LG Nexus 5X with Straight Talk’s ATT network, only with Straight Talk’s Verizon network. It’s still against the terms of service, but the people I hear from that get suspended or terminated are using 100s of GB on the unlimited plan.
I’ve been using the hotspot on my major ZTE model z899vl for a year for my Xbox they even fixed my nat setting so I could play now I’m being told it’s not allowed so confused
I am not sure who fixed your NAT issue, but using hotspot have always Straight Talk’s Terms and Conditions of service. The fact that the hotspot feature works out of the box for some customers leads to confusion. Are you saying Straight Talk customer service helped you fix a Network Address Translation issue? what did they tell you to do?
I understand there thinking if your sharing with others but I use only for me on Xbox or my laptop so movies r easier to watch I would use same data using my phone as far as my nat settings i was using t- mobile not straight talk my bad
I’m a current ATT customer thinking about switching over. Contacted 4 different Straight Talk representatives trying to find out about bringing my own phone, and as to whether my existing hot spot feature on my phone would continue to work, and couldn’t find one that spoke clear enough English for me to understand, let alone them having a clue about whether hot spot would work or not!
Unfortunate that Straight Talk customer service isn’t able to answer these questions. I hope the answer was clear in my article. Using Hotspot is against their terms of service, even though the feature works for some people.
If you want to switch to a prepaid service that supports hotspot and uses the att network. ATT prepaid and Cricket Wireless are two options. Its a free option with ATT prepaid and costs $10 per month more with cricket. For both services, if you are on an unlimited plan, they restrict hotpsot to 10GB of high speed data.
If you are willing to switch to the a prepaid service that uses verizon, t-mobile, or sprint towers you have more options.
Which Straight talk plan were you interested in? how much data do you need?
If I buy the $45 plan and wish to share data that I pay for,why would Straight Talk care? Isn’t that my business?
No. Not really. Straight Talk sets their terms of service you agree to them when you sign up. If you disagree with the terms you have the option to choose a prepaid wireless carrier that offers hotspot as a feature. As far as I know their terms violate no consumer or FCC law. If they did it would be a different story.
I don’t know the reason for their policy. Perhaps it’s agreement they have with ATT, Verizon, and T-Mobile, the companies’ they buy service from. Or maybe they pay for all the data you use and they know you’ll use more with hotspot and that costs them more. I don’t know.
As a consumer, you have the power. You are spending $540 per year on Straight Talk. If you want hotspot choose a carrier that supports it.
Now all that said, I know for some people using Straight Talk hotspot works on their phone and I have not heard from anyone using the $45 plan and being shutdown for using hotspot. I have only heard from people on unlimited plan using 100s of GB of data being shutdown.
If you tell me which Straight Talk towers and phone you use I may be able to recommend an alternative that supports hotspot.
This, my inquiry, is off-topic.
BACKSTORY: My iPhone 7 was an ATT device when my son bought it new and then used it for a year or so. Then he gifted it to me. It was completely reset and removed from my sons Apple ID; plus l phoned ATT had ATT unlock it. Then I put a Straight Talk ATT SIM card in it and activated it, very easily. It’s working fine in my somewhat rural, mountainous area. I haven’t traveled with it at all, yet. ATT doesn’t have the best local reputation for good signal strength, but this iPhone 7 is working better than my old iPhone 6s+ on prepaid Verizon [which is a service that’s reputed to be very good, locally].
MY QUESTION: Why can’t I properly open dogpile.com search engine while using Safari, Firefox, or Chrome? I’ve found that I can open dogpile.com seemingly only when using WiFi. I don’t have an internet [or tv] service subscription, and I love using dogpile, so … What gives?
I don’t know. I’d check to see if Verizon is blocking it.
As a side note, something to keep in mind.
Dogpile, wow, haven’t used that in almost 20 years. I actually forgot the name of it. I’ll have to start using it again. Thanks for mentioning it.
Older post but
I used straight talk ultimate unlimited and read carefully on at&t towers. It said not hotspot unless your plan allows and something like before 60 gigs they don’t look into it. I’m on a Blu Vizo 5r it’s a big cheap phone. For one month I used 55gigs almost all hotspot Xbox one s smart TV and computers. Worked great better that the DSL I can get in my area really reliable too. So it worked out.
I’ve just today switched to T-Mobile towers ( lost phone cancelled sim and had the extra T-Mobile sim from the book pack, found phone had to use T-Mobile sim. Can’t get hotspot to work at all.
None of Straight Talk’s phone plans support hotspot. There is some unclear language in their terms and conditions of service, but if you ask them they will tell you they do not support it. You could get another AT&T SIM and use hotspot again but if you read through the comments it seems a number of people had their data service suspended or their service terminated. I was never able to get hotspot to work with ST’s ATT towers myself, only the Verizon ones.
how does one determine which carrier’s towers will be used with a phone?
Do you have the phone already or are you looking to buy a phone from Straight Talk?
when i left T-Mobile for their terrible coverage (and i mean terrible, cant go 5 miles outside of the city without losing connection), i bought the cheapest straight talk phone they had, the ZTE Majesty Pro, just as a temporary phone until i could afford a better smartphone. to my surprise it came with a hotspot feature that works perfectly fine and i began to carry my old S7 (from T-Mobile) along. the ZTE would be just for calls and text but thd hotspot is always on so i could continue doing everything else on the S7. i also still have my S6 (from Sprint) that i have set up for my son to play Pokemon GO with me. 2 smartphones with no service playing pokemon go (anything requiring data) through a $30 phone. the connection is surprisingly fast and much better coverage than overpriced T-Mobile with 5 mile within the cities. anyway i dont use it for streaming videos or downloading stuff, just mainly for Pokemon go and web surfing. never exceeded the 10gb limit
Great story, thanks for sharing. You are right about T-Mobile, in some places it works great with amazing speeds, but you never know when you are going to hit an area without coverage. My guess is your ZTE phone is using Straight Talk’s verizon towers. Since hotspot is against their terms of service, they could shut you doen at any time. But, I doubt the care about people using hotspot on the 2 GB or 10 GB plans. Keep an eye on my straight talk deals and promotion page if you want to get a good deal on a new or reconditioned Straight Talk phone. Straight Talk Deals and Promotions. Today is the last deal of their 50% off promo (max $100 savings).
T-Mobile is easily the best carrier.. where it works well haha
I have a straight talk phone with hotspot used it for ten months straight Talk disabled my data at 5am this morning bc I was using my hotspot with an unlimited high speed data plan they told me your not allowed to use hotspot and that’s y the turned my data off and only way get it back on is to pay my bill early and not use the hotspot it bs!!!
I am surprised to hear it took 10 months to shut you down. I understand the appeal of having unlimited bandwidth to use with both your phone and perhaps even replace your need for broadband at home all for $55 a month. But, as stated use of hotspot is a violation of their terms of service. As far a I know, this policy does not violate any consumer laws so it is their right to have this policy in place. However you are the customer and you have a choice for wireless service and how you speed your money. I think Verizon Wireless prepaid is the only company to currently offer unlimited hotspot with their unlimited plan. From what I know, they have a max download speed of 600Kbps though. Depending on what you use hotspot for, this may be fast enough for your needs.
I have a Samsung galaxy j3 pre paid straight talk 55$ refill card and I am trying to share the hotspot but cant find it to turn it on
Perhaps you could take a second look at the article.
Follow up to my original post below.
Both phones at their 5th month.
Phone1 avg 60gb monthly
Phone2 avg 180gb
I have a stylos 3 and yes they turned my data off for the rest of the month because I used my phone as a hot spot with my tablet. I knew it was against the rules but I was just trying to see if I could get away with it, lol. It didn’t work.
Hmm. just curious. Do you think you used a lot of data?
Straight talk has hotspot
It’s against their terms of service.
one plus one works as a hot spot out of the box. $85 to $150 on Swappa. Works great in mine.
which towers are you using?
Last year I bought an unlocked ZTE Zmax 2 at Walmart & used the Straight Talk BYOP kit (I chose to use the AT&T SIM enclosed since the T Mobile SIM was my only other option…). The mobile hotspot feature showed up in my settings menu from day one. Needless to say that phone’s screen is now destroyed after being shattered..ANYHOO.. I bought a Straight Talk branded Samsung Galaxy J3 Luna Pro (that uses Verizon’s network or whatever) & mobile hotspot isn’t available to be used anymore. I’ve been on the Unlimited $55 plan for years & through many phones via Straight Talk & that was the only reason I ever had hot spot. 🙁 I guess the trick to having it was the unlocked phone.
Hmm. You had hotspot on the AT&T network?
I have a blu Vivo XL 3 the hotspot on the phone did work on the $45 a month plan then I bought the $55 a month plan and the hotspot stopped working but the internet still works on my phone
I am surprised that hotspot worked in the first place with the XL 3. Did you rely on hotspot? would you consider changing carriers to get hotspot?
I use my phone as a Hotspot for my Xbox and I used 250 gigs before they shut me down lmao. I didn’t know. They should clarify that they don’t want people using Hotspot more openly. I’m using AT&T towers with the unlimited plan
Hmm. Which phone?
I got the $55 plan 2 weeks ago for the 1st time. Was useing hot spot all the time with lower plans before that, I’m from kansas and work in a tiny town in the south east part of the state. Checked my data today and I was at 106GBs lol cuz I use youtube and play my Xbox 1 online all the time. Was working just fine untill today wen I got on youtube it started to lag like a bitch, but so far I can still play games just fine. Had no clue about the hot spot thing breaking their rules untill I called them just a bit ago. So they might be catching on this a lil bit. Use it while you can. I have the newst stylist Android phone.
I have heard a lot of similar stories. Just curious, do you know which towers your phone is using? Verizon, ATT, or T-Mobile? I assume Verizon.
I had 2 phones on straight talk with mobile hot spot. The lg fiesta 2 that I broke because I broke it an my new phone lg stylos 3. Only problem my phone has a hard time working in my trailer an wants to drop my data at times inside it
I have the LG Stylo 2 and had been using the hot spot for months. Last night I lost all data connection and was told I wouldn’t get it back until my new plan took effect. Which would be 2 days from them. Or I could use the plan I had in reserve and get it back immediately. The csr said that I violated the terms and conditions. That there is a 60gb limit to the truly unlimited $55 plan.
At 60 GB, they reserve the right to review your data usage. Hotspot is against the terms of service, and can get your data suspended for the remainder of you plan or permanently
I have had Straight Talk for a few years and been using their $55 Unlimited plan since they started it. I regularly use 80 – 100GB of data a month. I’m a truck driver, so, my entertainment is my phone (Youtube, Netflix, etc). I’ve never been cut off and rarely have an issue with throttling.
Cool. Do you tether or use hotspot or do you consume all that data on your just your phone?
Which phone are you using? I need a hot spot for my college kid.
It took st 3 months to notice my kids were streaming daily ..cut me off ..had to buy new plan..I argued my phone had a tether option in phone from purchased with it did..its an LG from Wal-Mart..not sure of model..and Verizon towers…I would pay for this feature if it was offered..as no internet or cable is provided to my location
Yes. many similar reports. I have been trying to find out why they don’t just disable it on their android phones that use the Verizon towers.
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